It’s hard to believe sometimes, but I have been doing this site for almost twenty years. In that time I’ve had the distinct displeasure to listen to a whole lot of not so great albums. It’s easy to become cynical and jaded after a while. Especially after sitting through the hundredth carbon copy of whatever band was popular at the time. Luckily ever now and again you come across a band that singlehandedly restores your faith in the genre.
* cue The Creeps *
I don’t know how they did it, but these Canadians have managed to evade me for close to twenty years. ‘Beneath The Pines’ is already their sixth album and on it they come pretty damn close to perfection. These gloom punks have written 11 pop-punk songs that are filled to the brim with finger-lickin’ good guitar licks, bigass hooks and downright gorgeous vocal melodies. All brought to you with the kind of confidence and ease that betrays the band’s years of experience.
Apparently their songs were darker and faster in the past. If that’s the case, then they have mixed things up this time around. The songs on ‘Beneath The Pines’ all have an incredibly warm, welcoming sound that pulls you in. Call them mid-tempo explorations of love, heartbreak, depression and addiction, but always with a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
Picking favorites on ‘Beneath The Pines’ is next to impossible. Every single song more than deserves its place on the album and all of them bleed melancholy and nostalgia while also packing plenty of pop sensibilities and the kind of riffs that have you nodding along in no time. Think The Menzingers meets Alkaline Trio? Honestly though, I don’t think I have ever heard a pop-punk album quite like this one.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll stop gushing here before it gets truly embarrassing. And hey, I have a whole back catalog to explore, which I am going to kick off with ‘Lost Crimes’, a singles collection that came out on It’s Alive Records alongside the new album. Guess it’s aimed specifically at schmucks like me who somehow managed to miss out on a great band up until now.
- Staring Me Down
- Bottom Of Things
- Full Shook
- In My Mind